Mash-Up Monday #6: | Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady | Early Review & Recipe - "Halloumi" in Charmoula

Hello & welcome to another Mash-Up Monday!
I love working on these because it gives me a chance to really get a feel for a cookbook and see how simple/complicated and thorough the recipes in the book are. For the most part, however, I can usually tell by looking at a recipe and I will mess with the ingredients/ method of preparation a bit to get to where I want to be for the final product. 
When it comes to Seven Spoons, however, I am happy to say that this Halloumi (cheese) in Charmoula recipe was a success - we ate all of it.

If you couldn't tell, this is pan-seared cheese with a whole bunch of Charmoula sauce all over it

I thoroughly enjoyed combing through Seven Spoons and I think you will, too. It's full of every kind of recipe imaginable for all different types of palettes.

For whatever reason, I could not find Halloumi cheese, anywhere. It was such a disaster because I know I have seen it at Whole Foods before. But, it's fine. I grabbed a chunk of Ricotta Salata and some Indian Paneer cheese and there you have it - my replacements.

Basic info. about this book:

Name: Seven Spoons
Author: Tara O' Brady
Review Source: Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Publishing Company: Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Genre: Cookbook
Rating (out of 5): 4.5

Recommend? Yes!

Where it can be purchased: The Book Depository

"Halloumi" in Charmoula
Recipe Adapted from Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredient List:
  • 1 fresh red chili, chopped (you can remove the seeds if you want to; we kept half the seeds)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (or ground coriander is fine)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or ground is also fine)
  • 1 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • grated zest and juice of half a lemon (save the other half for garnish, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound "halloumi" (or other white, semi-firm cheese - I used Ricotta Salatta and Indian Paneer cheese) cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • Make sure that you have all of your ingredients as listed, above.
  • Roast the red chili and garlic together in a saute pan on the stove top for 1-2 minutes, until brown and toasted. You are not using any oil here and are dry roasting these ingredients.
  • Once they are done, remove them from the pan and now add the coriander and cumin to toast. This should only take about 1 minute.
  • Once done, also remove from the pan and chili, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, parsley and cilantro into a blender and blend until very fine.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil and a sprinkle of both salt an pepper.
  • Now add the ingredients that you blended. Set aside - the Charmoula is done!
  • The same way that we dry-roasted the ingredients for the Charmoula, you are going to do for the cheese. Leave it or a minute or two on both sides until they look like my pictures, above^.
  • Once your cheese is seared, dump it into the bowl with the charmoula sauce, coat it on both sides, and set on a plate.
  • You're done!
So, that's it! It was a very simple and easy recipe. I think that the hardest part was just finding the halloumi cheese but we made due with what I was able to purchase at Whole Foods.
Word to the wise: If you want to make this ahead of time, do it! We found that the longer the cheese sat with the sauce, the more delicious it was. We also served it alongside some fried vegetables in a homemade garlic and dill yogurt sauce - it was a fantastic vegetarian meal. Let me know what you decide to cook it with!

Happy Monday!

& Until next time :)

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